Ames's journal 

First of all, I want to express my gratitude to VSA's Thailand volunteer program for giving me the chance to learn about the local way of life. I studied about environmental protection with my international peers during the first week of the volunteer camp, and we visited several schools to give talks and train children on how to effectively apply environmental protection. I met so many kind children who were studying Chinese and were really interested in Chinese culture at each school.

When they welcomed me, I could really sense the students' enthusiasm, which surprised me because I never imagined there would be so many people interested in China and Chinese culture. The teachers and kids at every school where we delivered presentations treated us with the utmost respect and were extremely attentive to what we had to say and how we were being received. After a long day of work, all the volunteers would head to the beach, pick a tiny bar, have a drink, enjoy the sea breeze on their faces, and talk to one another. We met a lot of intriguing people in an unfamiliar place, and I'm pleased we did. Although our cultures and languages were different, we were together, talking, and experiencing each other's value at this same moment.

I was very nervous the night before teaching, even though I knew I had a good grasp of the program, I still had a lot of doubts. I didn't know if the students would like me, I didn't know if they would understand me, I didn't know what kind of unexpected problems I would encounter in the classroom, there were so many questions waiting to be answered, but when I arrived at the school the next day and all the children in the school looked at me with curiosity and waved to me, palms together, and greeted me, all my doubts were solved because when I saw there I fell in love with each and every one of them the moment I met their bright eyes. When I teach, every child answers me in their loudest voice, and even if some English is too difficult for them, they still try to make themselves cooperate with you.

Education, in my opinion, fills you with an unending sense of pride, especially when your pupils run into you on the street and shout your name. Even though I live a simple life in a little community, I make the most of each day. Everyday I have to deal with different student levels and teach various English classes. After the lessons, we have different activities, and in the hot summer, my friends and I visit the nearby 711 to cool off. Everyday breakfast, lunch, and dinner are special occasions that I look forward to, and every day I can see the various hues of the sky in Thailand and every day I can see the sky in Thailand. I felt really satisfied as I rode my bike and saw the people walking down the street and the cows grazing in the distance.

I met a lot of local people during my two weeks in Thailand, and I am most grateful to our program leaders, Ptum and PQ, who helped us with the daily teaching, contacted local schools, took care of our accommodation, and did their best to let us experience the local culture. They did so much more than I can describe, but because of them, I feel that this small village is like home to me, and I am very grateful to them.

Finally, I thank my courage for bringing me to Thailand, my program director for allowing me to have a warm home in Thailand, the interesting people I met along the way, and the warm smiles of my students, I love this place, and I love everyone here, VSA made me fall in love with Thailand, and I will definitely come back to visit again if I can.

LOU Zhiyan, a camper from China in Peace Village camp 12-24 June 2023